Clothes are strung out across the floor like drug addicted bodies passed out at the zenith of their high. Dizzying déjà vu washed over her. For some reason this moment reminded her of the juncture when she decided to change her life. Adriene never felt addicted to the substances she put into her body. She remembered coming to in a room full of thin, frail, lifeless bodies. Among close examination, each exhibited shallow breaths fit to sustain the function of organs, but not the coherence of the brain. One is occupying the social welfare of the state, confined to a small, padded room most of the time. Another is occupying the space of a coffin somewhere 6 feet under Earth’s surface. Three regained consciousness. One is battling rehab. One returned to the drug-enhanced trenches of the city. Adriene walked away with the intention of never returning.
She hasn’t ingensted a foreign substance stronger than alcohol since that day. It has been 5 years, 2 months, and 16 days. But today – this morning – empty clothes strewn about the floor occupy about the same amount of space as a wasted, thin and frail drug addict. She associates the addictions of her previous acquaintences with her current situation.
She begins to wonder if this is how those people felt.
Loss of control.
Adriene considers addiction, wondering why foreign substances never asserted authority over her life like this. She is suddenly aware he has been watching her. Intuition tells her he is curious without judgement. He asks, “What are you thinking?”
“I had déjà vu.”
“I don’t know. But after that heavy feeling left, these clothes left me remembering something that happened a few years ago. It’s really weird because this situation is nothing like that.”
Adriene bit her tongue, hesitating. She speculated on whether telling him her true thoughts would change their situation. She wanted the truth to be the thing which would cause him to leave his wife, but she had dwelled in a life surrounded by addicts. She knew the explanation of this metaphor would not lead her to the end of a Disney princess story. She arrived at the explanation when she pieced together loss of control and addiction, but she wasn’t ready to say it. She knew there must be a rock bottom to this addiction. She wasn’t sure if she would ever be able to tell him the truth. She wasn’t sure she wanted the latest disaster to know her emotions – to know she could be hurt.
“These clothes almost looked like lifeless bodies of the people I used to hang out with. I guess in this eerie lighting, they reminded me of the day I found rock bottom.” She paused before adding her current state of emotion. “I feel like I’m standing in the middle of the train tracks, watching the train coming toward me, but I can’t move. I can’t help myself.”
Because I fell in love with you. She thought to herself.